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Giant wind turbine plant planned for former steelworks site

Artist impression of Able UK's proposed offshore wind facility on the banks of the Tees.

Demolition and decommissioning specialist Able UK has submitted its “scoping plans” to build a huge wind turbine plant on the site of a former steelworks on Teesside.

Able wants to develop a 72-hectare site on former SSI steelworks land on the banks of the Tees, building a facility that would create around 600 jobs, combining assembly, installation and servicing of offshore wind turbines on one super-site.

Details of the project have emerged in early-stage planning documents submitted to Redcar and Cleveland Council.

The document said: "The broad aim of the development is to serve the renewable offshore marine energy sector, which is making a substantial contribution to a new secure, low carbon and balanced energy mix for the UK. The sector is currently dominated by offshore wind turbines, which comprise a number of component parts manufactured at different locations by different suppliers. These individual parts need to be brought together at a construction port close to their offshore point of installation. Given the location of the North Sea offshore wind farms, the application site provides an optimal location for a number of offshore projects."

The scale of the project indicates a potential investment of hundreds of millions of pounds, and construction of the quay and wider development is expected to take two years with a peak workforce of a further 250 staff.

A full planning application could be made later this year.